December 7, 2016

How Buying a Freezer Led Me to Rediscover the Fun of Cooking

chest freezerTaking a look at ourselves and confronting our faults is rarely easy. Even when we have been successful in identifying them, we aren't always successful in changing in the ways that would benefit us. I don't think this necessarily makes us hopelessly irrational; I think it reminds us that we are human. As such, we suffer from certain limitations. At the same time, being human means that we are sometimes in a position to improve ourselves and learn from our experience.

One of my many faults is my cheapness. Yeah, I suppose I could sugarcoat it and claim to be "fiscally conservative," but the reality is that I'm just cheap. I suppose there are some advantages of being as cheap as I am. I am able to save money for larger purchases when necessary, and I don't end up accumulating a lot of junk I don't use. But there are some downsides too. For example, I frequently have the experience of buying something that ends up being so useful that I kick myself for not buying it years ago. You'd think I'd have learned this lesson by now, but it has been a hard one for some reason.

I finally got around to buying a chest freezer this summer, and it certainly falls into this category of something I should have bought a long time ago. The freezer in my refrigerator is tiny and has never worked well. Picking up a chest freezer, which I keep in my garage, turned out to be less expensive, more compact (I never realized they come in so many sizes), and far more energy efficient than I thought it would be. But the real benefit of having one was something I hadn't anticipated at all.

I like to cook, but I rarely have time to do the sort of cooking I enjoy. When I come home at the end of a long day, cooking is the last thing I want to do. Having another freezer has opened up a whole new set of possibilities by allowing me to spend a Saturday or Sunday cooking, freezing what I've cooked in small containers, and then having it ready to go whenever I like thanks to the added freezer space. Cooking has suddenly become fun again in a way that it hasn't been for a really long time. I've been trying new recipes with which I would not have previously bothered. I also end up with a bit more time on the weeknights when I'm not having to cook to do other things. I've even found that I am less tempted to buy overpriced and unhealthy convenience food at the grocery store. I can't believe it took me so long to figure this out!

Experiences like this lead me to suspect that there are probably many other things that I do without as a result of being cheap and that at least some of them would open up new possibilities too. If only I was better able to identify what some of them were!